On Intermittent FMLA leave and written up for an absence.

My husband is on an intermittent FMLA leave to care for his terminally ill father. He has had the FMLA approved for a month, and used his first day on monday. His boss told him he needs to provide proof that he was in fact at chemo with his father or he will be written up for the absence. Is this legal??

2 answers  |  asked Mar 18, 2015 7:11 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Neil Klingshirn
I do not believe that an employer can require more information than that required by the FMLA Certification of Health Care Provider. FMLA leave is available to provide psychological support, for example, which would not necessarily involve a doctor's visit. This is a complicated area of the law, though, so definitely consult with a qualified employment lawyer before you stand on your rights and refuse to provide a doctor's note.

Also, Harold is correct in that employers can monitor the use of FMLA leave and can terminate your husband if, for example, he does not follow evenly applied call off procedures or it catches him using it for a non-approved purpose.

As a practical matter, if your husband can provide a doctor's note easily, he should do so and avoid a dispute.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Mar 19, 2015 09:18 AM [EST]
Harold Goldner
Yes. Employers can provide for monitoring of the use of intermittent FMLA leave, such as call-in systems or even surveillance. And intermittent FMLA leave must be used for what it was granted, so if, for instance, you have a bad cold and want to take a day off, you cannot use your intermittent leave for that --- it's solely for the care of your father.

posted by Harold Goldner  |  Mar 19, 2015 09:09 AM [EST]

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